After two and a half hours, the match was abandoned without any team scoring. Two weeks later there was a re-match and this time the military beat the civilians comprehensively.
Rugby in South Africa has an interesting history during war. On 29 April 1902, during the war between the Boer Republics and the British, hostilities were halted for five hours for a game of rugby to be played between the opposing forces. During World War I, a South African military team played matches against the British Army and New Zealand forces. During World War II, the South African Army team played against various teams. The first rugby tour by a South African military team took place during World War II when the legendary Danie Craven (a sports officer in the Army at the time) took an Army team to England in 1941.
After World War II, the Defence team was formally founded in 1945. Rugby played a major role in the South African Defence Force and numerous Springbok players came from military ranks, including Frik du Preez, the South African rugby player of the twentieth century, and Chester Williams, one of the stars of the 1995 World Cup winning team. During the 1970s and 80s, the SADF team was extremely strong and played in knockout leagues with the strongest provinces in South Africa. International competition, however, was limited due to boycotts because of the policy of apartheid. The current South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Rugby Team was founded on 1 May 1994 on the same day that the South African National Defence Force came into being after the first democratic elections in South Africa. The team had limited international exposure over the years but matches against other defence forces include the Royal Navy (1995) and Army (1997 and 2007), the Russian Air Force Academy, the French Defence Force and the Royal Netherlands Defence Force. The SANDF team also played against the national teams of Namibia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
The SANDF Rugby Association (SANDFRA) is very proud of their role in the development of rugby. Apart from internal development, the Association annually undertakes development initiatives in previously disadvantaged communities. The SANDFRA also played an important role in the development of rugby in the Botswana Defence Force (BDF). The BDF’s participation in the annual SANDF Rugby Championships helped a lot to improve the level of rugby in that country. The SANDFRA also launched many development initiatives in Burundi during the SANDF’s peace support deployment in that country. This led to Burundi being accepted as an associate member of the IRB.
Two more areas in which the SANDFRA has excelled over the last two decades are that of refereeing and women’s rugby. The SANDFRA produced one test referee in the person of Eugene Daniels, who officiated in 6 test matches and more than 70 first-class (Super Rugby and provincial) matches. Pierre Oelofse was awarded his Springbok colours as a referee’s assessor and two members were involved in referees coaching at national level. Since the inauguration of women’s rugby in the Defence Force in 2002, SANDFRA has produced nine female Springboks, as well as an assistant coach to the Springbok women’s team.
Rugby in the military is played in all the regions of South Africa. In some of the regions military teams play in the local leagues, while in other regions the military players are affiliated to civilian clubs. The highlight of the rugby calendar is the SANDF Rugby Championships that take place at the end of June every year. Ten to twelve male teams and four women’s teams, representing the different regions, participate in the Championship.
|CHICCO, FRANCISCO ANTONIO||LOCK|
|THEMBA, MPENDULA BHENGU||EIGHTMAN|
|CHRIS BOOYSEN||SCRUM HALF|
|JESVIN, ASHLEY BOOYSEN||FLANK|
|CURTLEY, DEAN BRINKHUIS||WING|
|CORNELIUS, JACOBUS DE VILLIERS||UTILITY BACK|
|DIAAN, LEVACK DONSON||PROP|
|KEANIN, GARTH ESAU||FLY HALF|
|DEVIN, YUSIF GROOTBOOM||WING|
|CARLO, GOODWIN JACOBS||PROP|
|FRANK, HEYWOOD LAMONT||PROP|
|QUINTIN, ALFREDO MAASDORP||CENTRE|
|TSHEBANG, JUSTICE MARIE||PROP|
|JOHAN, CHRISTOFFEL NEL||HOOKER|
|WILLIAM, CHARLES, CHRISTIE NORTJE||EIGHTMAN|
|RAYNO, ALBIE PAPIER||FULL BACK|
|RHUPINO, JACOBUS PLAATJIES||CENTRE|
|QUINTIN PRINSLOO||SCRUM HALF|
|NIGEL, IRWIN WILLIAMS||UTILITY BACK|
|CHESLIN JAFTA||FULL BACK|
|GERRIT, MICHAEL VERMEULEN||LOCK|
|CAPT (SAN) GODFREY DANIELS||PRESIDENT SANDF RUGBY|
|COL (REVEREND) PIETER OBERHOLZER||DIRECTOR RUGBY|
|LT COL HANSIE YZELLE||TEAM MANAGER|
|MAJ ALLEN SOUTTER||ASSISTANT COACH|
|2LT PAUL MENTE||REFEREE|
|2LT FANA ZWANE||PHYSIOTHERAPIST|
|FLT LT JAMES LACK||PHYSIO|
|WO2 ABRAHAM ASSEGAAI||BAGGAGE MASTER|
|SSGT FRANS BOSHOFF||HEAD COACH|
|SSGT IRVIN VAN WYK||TECHNICAL ADVISOR|
Frans (Bossie) Boshoff represented SANDF rugby teams for nineteen years. He was selected for the SANDF U20 team for the first time in 1994. In 1995 he was selected for the SANDF senior team and played his last match for the team in 2012. During his illustrious career as a player he represented the SANDF in every position in the backline except scrumhalf. He played in matches against the Royal Navy (1995) and the Army in 1997 and 2007. Other international teams he played against include the French Defence Force, the “Nederlandse Defensie” (Netherlands) and the Russian Air Force Academy. He also represented the SANDF in matches against the National teams of Namibia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. He furthermore represented the SANDF in three international Sevens tournaments and also played for the SA Combined Forces team in 2007 and 2008.
Bossie started his coaching career as a schools coach whilst he was still playing. He attended various coaching courses and seminars over the years of which the most notable is the IRB level 1 and 2 course and the Jake White winning ways course. His coaching experience includes that of assistant and head coach of the senior and U21 teams of the False Bay Rugby club, a first division club in the Western Province. Bossie was appointed the assistant coach of the SANDF senior team in 2014 and head coach for the 2015 IDRC.